Tag Archives: Architecture

Abundant Life Building – former Oral Roberts Ministry Headquarters

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On my evening run I passed this big ugly hulk just south of downtown. It is the Abundant Life building that was built in the mid 1950’s by Oral Roberts as headquarters for his ministry. The building has been abandoned for many years now. It was last used as an office by Southwestern Bell in the 1980s. More information can be found at the Historic Tulsa and Abandoned Oklahoma sites. Abandoned Oklahoma has some shots of the interior including the marble entryway.

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The building is strange because it has no windows. It has changed hands several times and plans are announced for redeveloping it. I just cannot see how that would work for such a big ugly building with no windows. I hate to see old buildings torn down but it seems that options are few for this structure.

Abandoned Buildings – The Catron Building

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On a lunchtime geocaching expedition to a not great area of Tulsa just to the west of downtown Tulsa on West Admiral I found this gem of a building. It looks abandoned but there is a shiny mail slot in the door to the right and a city garbage container to the left. This looks like it used to be stores below and apartments or offices above. I”m trying to figure out what it used to be.  I love mysteries like this.

Weekend Reflections – Granite and Glass

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This is the building where I work. The building is polished granite and glass and its modern exterior stands out in Tulsa’s mostly art deco style buildings. I took this shot from the parking garage across the street. I liked how the building reflected the sky to the east, and another high rise.

The building started out as Cities Service Oil Company’s new headquarters at 52 floors but before construction could get very far there was first an oil bust and then Boone PIckens who drove Cities into the arms of Occidental Petroleum who decided to make it 37 floors and then they decided to sell it to my employer who capped it at 17 floors. So it is “hell for stout” as we say in Oklahoma. A 17 story building with foundations and steel structure designed for 52. Plus we have lots of elevators!  We can still feel the earthquakes we are having in Oklahoma.

Linking with Weekend Reflections

Shadow Shot Sunday – Villa Philbrook

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The Philbrook Museum of Art is one of my favorite picture taking places. From the galleries to the gardens to the building itself it is a great place to take your camera. It is an “Italian Renaissance Villa” built in the late 1920’s by  Tulsa oilman Waite Phillips for his home. He later donated it to the City of Tulsa for use as a museum. It has grown since then and is a treasure.  We have a membership, courtesy of my sweet MIL, so I go there ever month or so just to walk around with my camera. I have been there dozens of times over the years and always find something new.

Linking with Shadow Shot Sunday

Thorncrown Chapel – Eureka Springs, Arkansas

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Thorncrown Chapel is a beautiful wood and glass chapel set in a forest near Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It is absolutely beautiful.

I used to Topaz Impressions to make the photograph look more like a painting. I’ll tell you thought that there is nothing like being there for this gem of a building.

Previous Post on Thorncrown Chapel

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Thorncrown Chapel – Eureka Springs, Arkansas

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During our recent outing to Eureka Springs Heather and I visited Thorncrown Chapel. Architect E. Fay Jones little jewel in woods.

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It’s footprint is 24 by 60 feet and is 48 feet high. It is modeled after the much larger Sainte Chappelle Church in Paris. The architect E. Fay Jones said that Thorncrown was “Ozark Gothic.”

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It may be the most remarkable structure I have been in. It is so full of light and is light and airy. I I don’t see how it even keeps itself supported. The structure is built entirely out of wood, glass, and stone.  You can read more about it and see some spectacular photographs on Thorncrown’s Website.

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The chapel gets lots of visitors but everybody is very quiet inside the building plus they quite politely and calmly ask people to sit down while they are looking around and taking photographs.

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I loved how the design is kept open by the absence of an altar. Note though the cross standing outside the structure and the rock ledge looks like an altar to me. The chapel fits in perfectly with its surroundings. Jones specified that no single component could be bigger than what two men could carry through the woods to the site. The trusses and such were built on site the lumber that was carried to it.

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I guess that I am turning into a fan of E. Fay Jones. Just a year ago I visited his Marjorie Powell Allen Chapel at Powell Gardens near Kansas City, Missouri. It was another structure that blew me away.

Google has built a 3D model of the building. You have to play around with a little bit. It gives a better idea of what it looks like in its setting.

William G. Milne House, Dell Rapids, South Dakota

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Last week I went to South Dakota for a family reunion. The main activity is a big picnic at the City Park in Dell Rapids. I’m not very good with large groups so I am not one to mingle and merge and start conversations up. Nor am I into shoving my camera into the faces of people. After the picnic there is kind of an “afterparty” at the homes of one of the relatives and in this lot smaller group I’m a lot more comfortable.

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The get together itself is great but the house also fascinates me. It has always seemed perfect to me. My great grandfather bought it in the mid 1940’s when he retired from farming and it has been in and out of the family ever since. I remember crashing in the living room one weekend in the late 1970’s during the reunion weekend.

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So somebody at the get together mentioned that it was designed by an architect named Dow. So of course I start googling around and low and behold it I find out that it is a house with a name, the “William G. Milne House” and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Moreover, it is considered to be a Queen Anne Style house and was built in 1902.. It was designed by a Wallace L. Dow who apparently was a famous architect who designed a great number of public and private buildings during his career. Of course I felt a little guilty thinking about drinking beer on the back porch of such a distinguished house. Not too guilty, just a little guilty you understand.

I have a little history with the house. Like I said that my Great Grandfather owned it for a time. My dad has slides from a trip we took one Christmas in the late 1950’s.

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This a family shot. I’m the good looking guy sitting on the lady’s lap. That lady is my grandmother. Brother Bob is the guy in red at the bottom of the photo.

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And here is me on the staircase of the house. I can’t believe I had so much hair. Where did it all go? I love those suspenders also.

Anyway, I love serendipity. How about you? Have you made some interesting connections lately?